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Moray distillery’s whisky ‘capsules’ attract backlash from purists

It is the Scottish staple which is traditionally sipped slowly with little more than a cube of ice or dash of water added after being decanted out of a glass bottle.

And world-famous Moray whisky producer Glenlivet has divided opinion by launching a new range of whisky “capsules” that allow a nip of the national drink to be swallowed whole.

The bio-degradable, clear pills are made of seaweed and allow 23 millilitres to be gulped down in an instant – providing what makers describe as a “flavour explosion”.

Bosses at the firm have claimed the new method will set “a new standard on how whisky is enjoyed”.

Capsules available in citrus, wood and spice flavours are being launched to coincide with London’s cocktail week.

Promotional materials from the brand state: “A first of its kind for a spirit brand, the edible capsules are 23ml in size, fully biodegradable and provide the perfect flavour-explosion experience.

“Enjoying them is simple, the capsules are popped in the mouth for an instant burst of flavour, and the capsule is simply swallowed.”

In an online social media post the company claimed it was “redefining how whisky can be enjoyed”.

But there was a quick backlash among traditionalists, with some claiming the capsules were “cheapening” the legendary Scottish drink and robbing it of its mystique.

David Cay Johnston wrote: “Some evil genius marketer-produced advertisement that just destroyed the carefully cultivated mystique of the Glenlivet brand.”

Twitter user Jackie Summers wrote: “You can’t nose it. You can’t sip it.

“You can’t fold your tongue inside your mouth, exposing different flavour receptors.”

Another wrote: “These capsules are very bad for the image of Scotch. In particular, you are cheapening Glenlivet.

“Scotch is meant to be sipped.”

Euan Duguid, who writes about whisky for the Scots magazine, said the aroma and texture was an important part of the drinking experience.

He said: “The joy of Scotch is very much in the anticipation.

“You can’t beat nosing a dram – taking in all those alluring aromas before the complex flavours burst on the palate.

“Whisky in a capsule? Give me a tumbler any day.”

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